Planning step-by-step

See information about each stage in the planning process, from initial research to planning decisions and review processes.

The planning permit process

1. Do your research first

Find out about the zones and overlays that apply to the land

Get advice from a Planning Officer at Council

  • Find out whether Council is likely to support the proposal and discuss changes that may be necessary to make the proposals more acceptable. Visit Get planning advice from Council for more information.
  • Visit Environmentally Sustainable Design to find out how to reduce the impact of construction and building use on the natural environment. 

Talk to the neighbours

It can sometimes be good idea to have a chat to your neighbours about your plans to gauge how they feel about them. This often saves a lot of time later down the track if small changes can be made to address their concerns early on.

Professional advice

Consider getting professional advice.  This will help you develop your ideas and designs so they meet Council's expectations and are individually tailored to your property, as well as helping you to determine the type and detail of the information you will need to prepare and submit with an application.

Further information

For more information visit Do I need a planning permit?

2. Prepare and submit an application

  • Complete an application form, ensuring that the Owner or Authorised Agent has signed the form and that the Owner of the land is aware of the application. See Apply for a planning permit for more details on what needs to be submitted and how to apply.
  • Read more about the Planning permit amendment process.
  • If your application is assessed as a VicSmart application, it will be assessed more quickly, and at a lower cost. Find out more about VicSmart planning applications
  • If you need a Planning Permit to remove trees or native vegetation, read more about the Tree and native vegetation removal process.

Apply for a Planning Permit

Apply for a Planning Permit Amendment

Apply for a Tree or Native Vegetation Removal Permit

Find out more about the relevant fees

3. Council checks the application

  • Council officers undertake an initial assessment of the application to see if enough information has been supplied to make a decision.
  • If you do not give enough detail or give a suitable description of the proposal, you will be asked for more information. This will delay your application.
  • If required, the application will be referred to external authorities.

Need to amend your application?

You can apply to amend your permit application by submitting a Section 50 amendment to a current planning application.

4. Application is advertised, if required

Not all applications are required to give notice but, if required, the application will be advertised for at least 14 days.

5. Council assesses the application

  • Any objections are considered.
  • If needed, a public planning consultation meeting is held with Councillors.
  • Any referral comments are considered.
  • Planning scheme provisions are assessed.

Status of planning applications

You can view the status of planning applications online - see our planning applications lists.

Need to amend an application currently being considered?

You can ask to amend an application for a Planning Permit that is currently under consideration. 

6. Council decides the application

Council may issue:

  • a permit with conditions
  • a Notice of Decision to grant a permit with conditions. This is issued if there were objectors to the permit application
  • a refusal.

A planning permit normally contains a written permit document and a set of endorsed plans:

  • The written document usually includes conditions that must be met, eg: the submission of new plans showing required changes or the maximum number of patrons for a restaurant.
  • The plans are drawings of what has been approved under the permit, eg: the floor plans, elevations and landscaping plans of a multi dwelling development.

Planning decisions

You can view planning decisions online from our planning application lists

7. Review by VCAT

You can lodge an application for review to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) if:

  • your permit application is refused by Council
  • the decision contains conditions you’re not happy about
  • a decision hasn’t been made in time
  • you’re an objector and Council has issued a Notice of Decision to grant a planning permit.

See more about requesting a review by VCAT

8. Existing permits

Once a planning permit has been issued by Council, you can request to amend the permit or endorsed plans, or request an extension of time:


For further information